iDRY Vacuum Kilns


wavy cuts

Started by dustyhoosier78, December 29, 2019, 11:02:40 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


New to milling have milled 3 times, the first to times lumber was really smooth now my cuts a uniformly wavy. I tried new blades and same result. The only thing that has changed is I have moved my mill to the rear of my property about a 1/4 mile. The head seams to chatter back and forth as well. I have researched this issue and as of now am leaning toward blade tension as a possible culprit. I release blade tension in between uses and may need to add more tension. The only other thing I can think is I haven't hit my log stops with the blade yet.

Bruno of NH

Lt 40 wide with 38hp gas and command controls , F350 4x4 dump and lot of contracting tools


No we have had warm weather here its not even muddy. That is not normal for this time of year been around 60 for a week or better.

doc henderson

is the head just making a noise or actually moving back and forth?  video would/may be helpful.
Timber king 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor powered by a 12 volt tarp motor


No noise just a little wiggle and more resistance pushing the head through the log. I have not mastered pictures or video yet. I need to work on on mastering those skills. The lumber is straight and dimension is true. Thanks to this forum I have been lucky removing stress and stickered correctly I am very happy with the results I am getting. The wavy cuts would not bother me so much. The lumber I am sawing is for a close friend and I want it to look as nice as possible he has done so much to help me I want to return the favor.


I originally thought the set was off in a few teeth. Then I noticed a few small spark of the ceramic guides. I changed blades and inspected but did not notice anything that would be interfering. I do not want to adjust something that does not need it if I can help it. Could the band being lose cause it to contort enough to cause the wave.


Read this thread.

More info is needed with question like yours.  What degree band are you using.  What mill and HP are you using?  What wood are you cutting? Are there a lof of knots or straight grain?  Are you manually pushing through the cut or power feed?
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!


Thanks ill read the thread, to answer those questions which I feel silly for not answering first. I am cutting maple with a manual mill my logs are small around 22" being the largest. I am using a 10 degree blade from timbery I have read others state that they are woodmizer silver bands and not the best. I have cut through some knots those do not seem to phase the wave. 


For myself, wavy cuts have been caused by dull blades, too little set, too little tension and too fast feed.  When cutting narrow boards/logs, can feed pretty fast.  For wide cuts, I have to feed slower.
I have read about slipping drive belts causing the same issue but have not experienced that (yet).
You may think that you can or may think you can't; either way, you are right.


So a 10 degree band in hard maple with a lower horse power engine is definitely a potential recipe for wavy cuts.  It's not a horrible band choice, but a 4 degree would be better.  I realize you didn't say what engine you are running.  Another possibility is drive belt tension. If it's not set right then the belt will slip causing the band to slow down in the cut which will cause it to travel.  You don't want to set it too tight as that can break the crankshaft on your engine, so look at the mfg specs and make sure it is set right.

With issues like this you want to only check / adjust one variable at a time so you know that you identified the culprit, don't throw the whole tool box at it and then see what happens as you won't know which resolved the problem. 
Franklin buncher and skidder
JD Processor
Woodmizer LT Super 70 and LT35 sawmill, KD250 kiln, BMS 250 sharpener and setter
Riehl Edger
Woodmaster 725 and 4000 planner and moulder
Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.
White Oak Meadows

Bruno of NH

I'm with Southside 
Try a 4° band
Maple can be a tough go with low hp
Lt 40 wide with 38hp gas and command controls , F350 4x4 dump and lot of contracting tools


You mentioned that you moved the mill between when the mill cut well and when you got waves. That's about the only thing that changed, right? A good place to start with diagnosing problems is with the things that changed. 

How did you set up the mill when you moved it? Did you level it out with levels? Was it "good" or "better than level" as my buddy Ken says? Also, what kind of ground do you have below the jackstands? Are you blocked up on mud or soft ground? 

You may have a little bit of a soft spot along the track where you are getting the chatter in the blade because the carriage wants to take the blade down, but the blade body wants to keep the blade moving the same direction and they are fighting each other.  

To check, you could run a string from front to back along the track and make sure there is no deflection along the length of the track. Maybe just take a look down it from the edge with one eye and correct any deflections you see. Then watch the saw carriage as it traverses down the track and check if you have any deflection in the track as the saw puts weight on it. 

As I recall, another fellow with a fixed track had similar problem that were corrected when the track sections were straightened, re-leveled, and reinforced beneath. 

Best of luck! 


The only other thing I can think is I haven't hit my log stops with the blade yet.
Forgot to make a joke about that... 

Don't worry, you will. :-) 
Paint em day-glow flourescent blue or yellow or something before you saw them off. 


Motor is a 16 hp vanguard and this was the first large log I had tried the other times were smaller practice logs basically. In the large log I was able to get around 10 1x14 maple. It's nice to be able to cut large lumber I'll use them for the floor of shooting house I'm planning on building thanks for all the advice I'm going back Tuesday I'll keep everyone posted


You might check your drive belt tension. They are notorious for needing to be tightened after the first few hours.


What Southside said.  Use 4°.  Note that he said Drive belt tension, not band tension.  Increasing band tension over factory spec does not do good things.  Set the band tension as recommended by the mill manufacturer.  
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!


4° made a big difference for me,  running a 13 hp Honda. Started with  10°, 7° was better, running Kascos the are a .045  vs .042 so also smidge stiffer.

Bruno of NH

Member Yellow hammer is right stiffer bands make flatter cuts.
Lt 40 wide with 38hp gas and command controls , F350 4x4 dump and lot of contracting tools


You said you saw sparks? That's never a good sign.  Sparks can mean instant set removal, dulling on one side of the band, or band interference.

Assuming all things are normal, as others have said, drop the tooth angle as a matter of routine, and anything a thin band can do, a thicker band can do better.


Take steps to save steps.

If it won't roll, its not a log; it's still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, they're burned, and you can't fix them.

Sawing is fun for the first couple million boards.

Be smarter than the sawdust


Have you only had problems in this one log or more than one? Some logs just don't behave.
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, JD 3032 tractor, JD 5410 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.


Weather has keep me from the mill till yesterday I was able to tighten belt and band tension and noticed no difference. I may have titled this post wrong my cuts are true I am getting teeth marks in the lumber I am cutting. So the cuts are straight and dimension is true, I may need to switch to a lower degree blade. I also think i need to lube my rails more I blow off the mill frequently throughout the day and spray silicon lubricant along moving parts and the rail. I am using the mill to remove maple trees through out my property to improve for wildlife. Everywhere there is a stump from the last time the property was logged 2 or 3 maples grew in that opening.


Woodmizer sells a variety box with 6 blades 747, 4 degree and 9 degree. I think ill try them my cousin has a red oak we were thinking of sawing into trailer decking. I know that red oak will need a better band then what i have.

never finished

 Those marks usually mean you have knocked the set out on the blade. Are you sure you haven't hit your back stops? Try a new blade. If the blade is still cutting good save it for lumber that it doesn't matter on.


Woodmizer says not to run anything on the LT15 except 4 degree.  The 19HP engine isn't enough power to run any higher degree band.

I don't use any silicone based products.  If it gets on anything, including wood, it will create problems with any finish applied.  Body shops will not allow any silicone based products in their shops because it wreaks havoc with paint/primer.  Tire shine that contains silcone is a bad thing as it will get on the paint and if it ever needs bodywork/paintwork, it is extremely difficult to get off.  Just when you think you have it, you spray and the paint or primer beads like water on oil.  Arggggg!

Why would you have lubricant on mill rails- as rollers don't need lube on rails?  Is it to keep sawdust from sticking to it?  I don't usually have that problem with hardwoods.  I do wax my cross bars with Johnson Paste wax to help logs slide better so make manually turning them easier.
Anything someone can design, I can sure figure out how to fix!
If I say it\\\\\\\'s going to take so long, multiply that by at least 3!


Yeah the spray was what I had the idea of lube was for clean up and just a smoother operation. I spoke with a guy west of where I live he ran a Norwood and said he cut everything with a 10 degree. Timbery doesn't sell a 4 on there site the variety pack I spoke of earlier is kinda pricey with shipping, but I'd like to try a few blades before buying a 10 pack. I want some 4 degree blades so I can cut a little hardwood.

Thank You Sponsors!